Hello there, today I am thrilled to be sharing a review post of COLD MURDER by Jeanette Taylor-Ford. This is the first book in a new detective series featuring DS Della Downs
It is available NOW on Amazon.
COLD MURDER (DS Della Downs book 1)
Format – Kindle
Publisher – Samona Fiction
Publication Date – 8th June 2023
Genre – Crime thriller, mystery and suspense
Author – Jeanette Taylor Ford
The coldest night of the year, and DS Della Downs is called to attend a suspicious death.
A naked man has frozen to death in a field at the end of an elite cul-de-sac on the outskirts of Derby. It seems someone has been judge, jury and executioner, for the dead man has ‘guilty’ carved into his chest.
Sassy Detective Sergeant Della Downs and her sidekick, Detective Constable Curran, wade through a mire of suspects – a whole cul-de-sac of them. And how does this murder connect to an old case, for which a man has been in prison for almost ten years? However, their prime suspect slips through their fingers, only to wind up dead in another town.
I have read books by Jeanette Taylor- Ford before and really enjoyed them. She is a very talented author and writes in several genres. I was very excited when I heard she had written the first in a detective series set not far from where I live and the book certainly delivered on my expectations.
With first in a new series you expect a certain amount of character building but the author has very skilfully built the characters and set the scene as part of the story so the characters develop seamlessly over the course of the book.
The story is a very intriguing one that kept my attention all the way through. It begins with the body of a man found frozen to death. When Della and her colleagues arrive to investigate they soon realise this is going to be a very tough case to crack. The residents of the street where the victim lived are very close but the team take a while to realise that they are closer than anyone thought possible.
I love the characters Della is kind and easy to get along with her boss isn’t which makes for an interesting dynamics within the team. I like the way teams from other areas nearby are also brought into the story adding to the framework of the story. It is set in 1990s so I had to bear in mind that forensics were not quite as advanced as now and there was a lot more drudge and leg work needed than may be the case today but again that added to the appeal of the book.
The ending is a very unusual one. Overall a brilliant read that I really enjoyed and I am very much looking forward to meeting up with Della and her team in the next book.
Definitely a 5 star read.
JEANETTE TAYLOR FORD
I spent the last ten of my working years as a teaching assistant, helping children who were less academically able. After a particularly gruelling session extracting a single paragraph out of a lad who rejected every suggestion I made about how his story could go, and the teacher and I agreed that ‘blood and stone’ had much to do with it, I decided I’d only stay sane if I did some writing of my own. So, if you need to blame anyone, you can blame that lad (who has to remain nameless for his own safety, although he’s no longer a boy) and a few others who also made me feel like I was trying to squeeze stones.
There followed a period of poetry, (but I decided I wasn’t sufficiently heartbroken and full of agony to be really effective) flash fiction and short stories before I finally went for the biggie, to actually write a book. ‘Write what you know’ seemed to be the advice, so I reached into the dim and dusty corners of my mind to many years ago when I used to work in a children’s home. The result was my only ‘normal’ book, The Sixpenny Tiger. I say ‘normal’, because after that I allowed my imagination to run riot, inspired mostly by ruined castles and mansions, even a village under the sea, and an old wattle-and-daub farmhouse I once lived in, which of course are often full of ghouls and ghosties and things that go bump in the night. The results are what you see here in my collection of books.
I thought I was on safe ground with my ghosts, but crime crept in and before I knew it I was writing about that too, inspired by who knows? I’m sure I don’t. They’re not exactly ‘thrillers’ or ‘cosy’ but I like them and so do my readers.
My dad always said I have Cadbury’s running through my veins and it’s probably true, although I had an affair with Bournville Plain for a few years in my twenties. I sometimes have brief flirtations with Fry’s Chocolate Creams and, around Christmas, Terry’s Chocolate Oranges. Ooh, and my favourites are violet and rose creams, quite hard to get, but at least one of my children or my husband Tony, comes up with a box for me at Christmas! But I always seem to return to Dairy Milk, and I owe it to the fact that I tend to combine eating chocolate along with the sedentary activity of sitting at my computer writing, for the size of my bum. Still, you don’t want to know about that really, do you?
When I’m not writing, I’m messing about with bits of paper and glue, making cards, crocheting and knitting twiddle-muffs and lap blankets for people with dementia, love being visited by our children and grandchildren and enjoying our beautiful garden. Occasionally, I tinkle the ivories of my piano. When we go away, I’m always on the lookout for another ruin or interesting place to inspire me with another story, although I already have several in mind, if I live long enough to write them!